Residents and businesses along Charlotte’s light rail blue line extension received some bad news this week. The 9-mile line from uptown to UNC Charlotte won’t be opening in August as planned. It’s been delayed until next March. Businesses and residents in Charlotte’s NoDa neighborhood took the news especially hard as they saw August as the light at the end of a massive construction tunnel.
Joe Kuhlmann is the owner of the music venue the Evening Muse. The venue is located in the heart of NoDa - and the construction. He said it wasn’t easy to hear about the delay.
"It's like it's Christmas and then being told 'nope, it's going to be 7 more months," Kulhmann said.
NoDa Neighborhood and Business Association president Hollis Nixon said parking is a huge issue and they were looking forward to the light rail opening on time to alleviate some of the congestion.
"This is a compounded problem," Nixon said. "It's light rail being delayed as well as all the new developments causing a parking crisis. If I'm frustrated parking in my own neighborhood, I can't imagine that people who don't live in this neighborhood are going to make that much more of an extra effort to try to do so."
Hollis also added that she can't get an Uber car ordered to her house because of the construction, it's just too complicated.
Kuhlmann said the streets are constantly dirty and that people who may be interested in coming to a show change their minds at the thought of trying to navigate where to park.
"It's to the point where artists who are traveling through ask 'hey is that construction done yet?' Because it's been here for 3 years," Kuhlmann added.
The next neighborhood meeting is scheduled for Tuesday at the Evening Muse. CATS will be there to provide an update to the neighborhood.